Contrary to what Alex Hawke, the Australian Immigration Minister, announced last week, it is far from certain that tennis players who have not had a vaccine against the coronavirus will be banned from the Australian Open.
A leaked e-mail from Tennis Australia states that unvaccinated players must be quarantined for 14 days on arrival in the country before they can go on the court in Melbourne, which is in the Australian state of Victoria.
The email was sent to the players on the WTA Tour. “We feel the need to contradict misleading information recently disseminated by other parties,” the writing said.
“With the vaccination rate in Victoria set to be 80 percent by the end of the week and 90 percent next month, conditions for players at the Australian Open have been confirmed to improve significantly.”
No decision yet
Tennis Australia has declined to comment on the leaked email, but Victoria’s sports minister Martin Pakula has said no decision has yet been made on admitting unvaccinated players.
If the policy is indeed changed, that would be good news for, for example, Novak Djokovic, the nine-time winner of the Australian Open. The number one in the world does not want to reveal whether he has been vaccinated against corona, but could still defend his title in Melbourne, which went out of lockdown last weekend after 262 days.
The Australian Open will be held from January 17-30 next year.